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Inverness versus Pitlochry

We are in Scotland for two weeks in October. I have planned most of the itinerary. We are leaving the Isle of Skye after a three-night stay and heading eastward and ultimately south to Stirling to see the castle before we leave Scotland from Edinburgh. I have three days/nights to spend time with day trips either from Inverness or Pitlochry. Which of these areas is the most scenic and has the best day trips? Any info would be really great!! Thanks in advance!!

Robyn

Posted by
4148 posts

Given that you will be coming east and south toward Stirling , I think heading toward Pitlochry would be a more efficient use of your time , Some of the small villages in that area - Blair Atholl , Dunkeld and Birnam are worth spending some time . From Pitlochry drive out to Queen's View on Loch Tummel for beautiful panoramas . On your way from Skye you could cross into the Cairngorms at Spean Bridge and then head south on the A9 toward Pitlochry . There are places worth seeing in the vicinity of Inverness that are worth your visit , but it means more driving in the opposite direction from where you want to end up .

Posted by
6447 posts

I would agree with the previous post- Pitlochry is your more obvious direction of travel if driving. Inverness would be out of your way.

Ballater/Braemar is also within easy reach of Pitlochry. A straight hour to Braemar from Pitlochry.

Posted by
644 posts

I'll be a contrarian and suggest Inverness is a better choice, even though I don't think that much of Inverness as a destination, although there are a few museums and interesting architecture. From Inverness, you could hike at Fairy Glen Falls or the Big Burn. You can visit Culloden, Clave Cairns, Fort George, and Nairn for lunch. You can take a drive around Loch Ness and stop at Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus, Falls of Foyers, and maybe spot Nessie. You could drive up the west side to a few castles and Whalagoe Steps, although it's a few hours. There's likely good trad music in Inverness as well, which is important to us at least.

Pitlochry is more on the way from Skye to Stirling - by a whopping 30 minutes out of five hours.

Posted by
1982 posts

Many people do diss Inverness which is a shame as there is a lot to do and see in the area. Culloden and Clava Cairns are popular tourist destinations. Fort George is possibly one of the most impressive military constructions ever built. You may even be lucky and see bottle nose dolphins in the Moray Firth. If you are lucky and get fine sunny days, the drive up Glen Affric is one of the most beautiful in Scotland. Do the short walk to Plodda falls with the viewing platform above 150’ drop.

There are attractive small towns like Strathpeffer, Dingwall and Beauly within a short drive. Dunrobin Castle, ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland, is a bit further to drive but is a stunning stately house.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks, everyone for your input. It really helps to hear from people who are acquainted with the areas. FYI - We wound up changing our travel plans a bit. Decided not to visit Stirling Castle because we’ll see Edinburgh Castle. (One castle us enough for us!!). So we’ll be spending five nights in Inverness and use that as a home base to make lots of day trips!! 😊😊. Thanks again!

Robyn

Posted by
1982 posts

There's so much to see and do around Inverness, you'll have no problem filling your days. There is the Black Isle as well as Dornoch with its cathedral where Madonna chose to have her son christened. The Cairngoirms are within easy reach with all their activities. Check which days the Strathspey Railway is operating and go for a nostalgic ride behind a steam engine. There are distilleries as well as lots of ruined castles and stately homes to eplore. If you've not found it, the Undiscovered Scotland website is a wonderful source of ideas. Start with the relevant map page and follow the links to the text pages weith information and lots of pbhotographs.

Posted by
104 posts

We loved The Mill Inn in Pitlochry, if you are looking for a place to stay.

Posted by
323 posts

If you're headed for Pitlochry, consider a trip to Aboyne -- and if you have time, through the Caringorms National Park. We went to see Highlands Games in Aboyne. We were sorry we didn't schedule a night or two in the Aboyne area. It was lovely...